Leo Edward O'Neil

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Most Reverend
Leo Edward O'Neil
Bishop of Manchester
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Manchester
In office November 30, 1990—November 30, 1997
Predecessor Odore Joseph Gendron
Successor John Brendan McCormack
Ordination June 4, 1955
Consecration August 22, 1980
Personal details
Born (1928-01-31)January 31, 1928
Holyoke, Massachusetts
Died November 30, 1997(1997-11-30) (aged 69)
Manchester, New Hampshire
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Springfield (1980-1989)
Coadjutor Bishop of Manchester (1989-1990)

Leo Edward O'Neil (January 31, 1928 – November 30, 1997) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Manchester from 1990 until his death in 1997.


Leo O'Neil was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and there attended Blessed Sacrament School and Sacred Heart High School.[1] In 1945 he entered Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.[1] He studied at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, for a year before attending the Grand Seminary of Montreal in Quebec from 1950 to 1955.[1] O'Neil was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Christopher Joseph Weldon on June 4, 1955.[2] He then served as parochial vicar in several parishes in the Diocese of Springfield, and was named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church at Haydenville in 1976.[1]

On June 30, 1980, O'Neil was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Springfield and Titular Bishop of Bencenna by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 22 from Bishop Joseph Francis Maguire, with Bishops Tomás Roberto Manning, O.F.M., and Timothy Joseph Harrington serving as co-consecrators.[2] He was named Coadjutor Bishop of Manchester on October 17, 1989, and later succeeded Odore Joseph Gendron as the eighth Bishop of Manchester on June 12, 1990.[2] He was installed at the Cathedral of St. Joseph on November 30, 1990.[3]

During his tenure, O'Neil worked to foster a common vision among New Hampshire Catholics with a program entitled "Renewing the Covenant."[3] He also won the affection of people with his inspirational homilies and flair for poetry. On November 30, 1993, O'Neil underwent surgery for multiple myeloma.[3] He continued to battle with cancer and serve as bishop for four more years, until his death at age 69.[3]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Odore Joseph Gendron
Bishop of Manchester
Succeeded by
John Brendan McCormack